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It's a marketer's dream to have two PBS superstars, Andrea Bocelli and Charlotte Church, singing in Christmas Glory from Westminster. Bocelli and Church (who don't sing together here) are among a handful of performers in this 1999 service from London's Westminster Abbey, including actresses Greta Scacchi and Joan Plowright and Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel.
Following an introduction to the abbey by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh (his wedding took place there), the first part of the hourlong service tells the Christmas story, alternating poetry and Bible readings with musical selections from the choir and soloists, including Messiah's "For unto us a child is born" and "But who may abide the day of his coming" by Terfel. Bocelli contributes two Schubert selections, "Mille Cherubino in Coro" and the beloved "Ave Maria," as well as "Sancta Maria," a version of Mascagni's famous melody from Cavalleria Rusticana. Church performs Stephen Adams's "The Holy City" (from her second CD) and shares "Silent Night" with Terfel. The program isn't all solemnity, however. Actor Richard Griffiths offers a spirited reading from A Christmas Carol near the abbey's famous Poets' Corner, where Dickens is buried. A blessing from the Dean of Westminster closes the distinguished evening. --David Horiuchi
1. "O Come O Come Emmanuel"--choir procession
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